Changes are in the air for a few Stowe buildings after the Stowe Development Review Board took a look at proposed plans.
The board OK’d Dee Davison’s request to demolish the historic Gables Inn building to make way for new construction.
Davison is representing the property owners, Eric and Robin Gershman, whose engineer told the board the building’s condition is so poor, it would be better to start fresh.
Andrew Harris of Harris Structural Engineering in Essex Junction said the rooflines are sagging, the first and second floors are both severely deflecting, the supporting beams aren’t strong enough to continue to carry the weight of the building for long, and he thought it would be best to build a new building, rather than renovate.
The Gables Inn was built in 1840 and remodeled in 1938.
Eric Gershman could not be reached for comment on the project.
Expect a new Stoware Common building at 638 S. Main St. as soon as owner Steve Berson gets his state permit to rebuild.
The Stowe review board approved his application to build an almost identical building Tuesday night, and he wants to get started as soon as possible.
The original building, which housed five businesses and provided storage space for Stowe Theatre Guild, was destroyed in a fire March 31.
Berson said he’s already begun laying the foundation for the new building.
The building was home to Ross Environmental Associates, Lush Salon, LaBeau Kitchens and Baths, DeNoia’s Dry Cleaning and Uncle George’s Flowers. Berson said he’s not sure whether all five of those businesses will return, or whether Stowe Theatre Guild will bring its props and costumes back for storage.
Ross Environmental and Uncle George’s Flowers are definitely returning, he said. DeNoia’s Dry Cleaning and LaBeau Kitchens and Baths are likely not returning, and Berson said he’s not sure about Lush Salon.
“I’d like to thank the town of Stowe for their support of me and all the occupants of 638 S. Main St., and look forward to rebuilding as soon as possible so that when people drive into town, one of the first things they see is not a big empty pit on the side of the road but a beautiful building in a beautiful town,” Berson said.
Mount Mansfield Ski Club & Academy
A plan to construct a new classroom building at Mount Mansfield Winter Academy — now called Mount Mansfield Ski Club & Academy —on Mountain Road, and demolish its two historic A-frame buildings, was approved May 21, and engineer John Grenier proposed a few minor changes after a conversation with neighbors.
The plan included a second entrance from Mountain Haus Drive, but Grenier wanted to remove it and stick with the original entrance from that road, and include another cedar hedge for visual shielding.
The winter academy’s entrance from Mountain Road will be closed off, according to the application.
The board approved the changes after a brief discussion.
Stowe Transfer Station
The building near the Stowe Transfer Station — where Stowe Electric Department used to house its equipment before it built a new office space and garage on Moscow Road — will undergo some internal changes, said Susan Alexander, manager of the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District. The district will lease that building from Stowe Electric Department.
The building’s footprint will remain the same, but the upper floor will be turned into up to six offices for waste district employees, Alexander said.
Eventually, she says, operations will be moved from Morrisville to Stowe, “to have our whole operation on one site.”
“Our plan is to renovate the lower part to allow for our reuse room, otherwise known as Filene’s Basement of Stowe,” Alexander said to a ripple of laughter from the board. The district now operates the popular reuse area at the Stowe Transfer Station two days a week.
A handicapped-accessible bathroom and break room will also be in the lower level, she said.
“Basically, it gives us a lot more room for recycling, storage and moving our offices into that building, eventually,” she said.
Board member Paco Aumand didn’t think there’s enough parking at the building. Employees need a place to park, and though transfer station customers aren’t allowed to park there, they’ll do so anyway, Aumand said.
Without a parking plan, “people are going to park helter-skelter,” Aumand said.
Alexander agreed to install signs to reserve some of the spaces for employees, and the board approved the changes.